Friday, 28 September 2007

Balance the Seasoning

Sometimes you find validation in the oddest places.

Remember last week I was prattling on about autumn being a time of assessment and change for me? No, well then go back and read if you like.

Anyway, on Sunday I found myself on top of Primrose Hill watching a Druid ceremony welcoming the first day of fall. One of the speakers said that autumn was the seventh part of a cycle of change. It's the time to harvest what's grown over the summer, decide to keep what you want, and let the rest go its own way (whether that be to the bin, to seed, or to lie fallow to fertilize something else).

Hmm ... so the Druids agree. Now's as good as time as any to decide what it means for our lives to be balanced according to our needs at this particular time. What's unbalanced for me might be perfectly balanced for someone else. And what's balanced for us this autumn might not make us feel balanced next year, or even next season.

So why not check in with yourself and see what it is you need to feel balanced for the next few weeks/months/seasons?

And to all those people who say I'm unbalanced ... well, it's just a matter of perspective, innit?

Marylebone Life Club

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Playing with the scales of Life

This week we're looking at that ongoing balancing act we all have to deal with - life. Or rather, all those many things that have to be successfully slotted together and prioritised to make it all happen somehow. To have the life you want, you must have all the right elements - but you also need to get them in the right balance. There's many aspects to this. Work / life balance is something we hear about quite a bit, but there's more to life than just work and everything else. That's why our balance charts have ten sections, not two!

If life's even slightly out of balance, things can seem very overwhelming. Obviously nobody can do everything - and actually, nobody wants to. Life balance is about being clear about what you want, and not letting things from lower down the list dominate the more important things. It's like sound engineering. If you're mixing a piece of music or a film soundtrack in a recording studio, everything has to be at just the right level relative to the other elements. There's no one right mix; that depends on the overall sound you want. But when you're clear how you want it to sound, you can achieve it, by getting the mix right.

So in this week's workshop we'll be exploring how we can make changes by fiddling with the mix of life.

Mark Lister
Edinburgh Life Club

Thursday, 20 September 2007

New Routines

This is one of my favorite times of year. The air gets a little fresher and we all of a sudden find ourselves in what I like to call jeans jacket weather. The new TV season starts (well, back home in America at least). It feels like "back to school" even though I haven't really been back to a fall term for eons. Plus it's right after my birthday, so I feel like everything is new and fresh.

The beginning of fall is one of my more motivating times of the year. Change is in the air. It's time to hunker down , revisit goals and get ready for the approaching holidays. Time to go for walks, put on that new jeans jacket (yup, I bought myself one for my birthday and it already feels like an old friend), and find new creative sparks in the autumn air.

It's also a good time to get back into the routines that I let slip over the summer: that gym thing; getting back into a writing workshop, decluttering that bookshelf that I'm going seeing more because it gets darker earlier.

Maybe I'll even take some time to decide on some new routines and motivations to carry me through the next twelve months.

Why wait till New Years to make those resolutions and changes?

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Ready, Steady, Go

I don't know how I did anything before I discovered what motivated me - guesswork I suppose and maybe not achieving as much as I could have.

Anyway, now I know, my present goal is to get fit. I don't want bulging muscles, I just want to be able to do the kind of things my body used to do.

Monday saw me at the gym with a free trainer on my special introductory offer. It was hard. Supple I wasn't and aching I was. Rubbish music that didn't inspire me and a room that smelt of rubber. I did not like it.

Tuesday had me beginning to notice a few benefits. I was running up the stairs and sitting with my legs over the arm of the armchair as if I was 16 again - that felt good.

Today, Wednesday, I really didn't want to go to the gym again. I felt tired, stiff, slightly achy and had loads of excuses as to why I was needed elsewhere.

But one of my motivational tools is fun. Another is dancing. So I made a 'Workout' playlist on my i-pod and took it along. Oh yes.

Just like Ready, Steady, Go.

Hope you have a lovely week,
Westminster Life Club

Sunday, 16 September 2007

OK, let's get motivated!

Motivation's one of those things a lot of us would like more of these days. It can even seem like the big key to many of those elusive successes we'd like - from losing weight to setting up that business we've always dreamed of.

So motivation's likely to be something you've thought about quite a bit before. At this week's workshop we'll be having a really good look at it, including looking at it from some different perspectives. Thinking "I need more self motivation" is a very common Limiting Belief, which can hide a great deal of personal strength.

So come along, and prepare to discover how much motivation you can really call upon!

Mark Lister

Edinburgh Life Club

Sunday, 9 September 2007

How you're finding Life Clubs

What I'm finding interesting is how you're finding out about us. From Mind, Body & Spirit Magazine to, via Psychologies, Health & Fitness Magazine and so on. The range of things we're mentioned in keeps getting wider and wider. All I can say is keep spreading the word.

How can we become a household name quickest? Please send any ideas in to

Looking forward,


We're talking about body language in Life Clubs this week.

You've probably heard that old saw about how only 14% of our communication is verbal. You don't have to think about that for very long to realise it makes a lot of sense - in evolutionary terms, our verbal language is very recent. We've still got the non-verbal language, even if we don't rely on it quite as exclusively. That doesn't mean it's not important - far from it. Indeed, since verbal language tends to push body language into the background, you could say it has a more subtle impact.

What's interesting too is what you say to yourself with your body. Listening to your body can help you discover a lot. For example, have you ever noticed how your posture shifts in parallel to how you relate to the people you're with? Changing what your body says can change how people experience you and who they think of you as. So body language can be very powerful. I'm looking forward to taking a good look at it in this week's workshop.

As you can no doubt tell from the confident, manly way I'm striking the computer's keys as I write this.

Mark Lister

Edinburgh Life Club

Monday, 3 September 2007

Bring out yer clutter!

Decluttering is our theme this week at Life Clubs, and a mighty useful skill this is. What's interesting about decluttering is that it's not just about the obvious clearing out of last year's now hideously unfashionable shirts (or were they like that when I bought them?) Decluttering's about letting go, and every area of life can hold things we could do with letting go of.

Clutter is anything which gets in the way. It could be material things, but equally it could be habits. Smoking is something which I used to keep lying around like an old chair - I didn't get anything out of it, it was just part of the scenery. While I did it, it didn't really seem to do any harm; but once I decluttered it from my life, it's amazing what there was suddenly room for. Including meeting the love of my life! We met two weeks after I stopped smoking. She later told me that if I'd been a smoker then, we'd never have got as far as a first date.

So I'm looking forward to exploring what sorts of decluttering we can do and how in this week's workshop.

Have fun making space!

Mark Lister
Edinburgh Life Club